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Radio listener: Tell Me the Truth About Love

As we count down to a rash of rampant gooeyness next Thursday, the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, marks St Valentine’s week with five programmes exploring the heady world of amorous poetry in TELL ME THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE.

Duffy examines the enduring impact of love poetry through the ages. The programme’s title comes from the famous poem in which WH Auden asks of that elusive entity known as love: “Will it come without warning / Just as I’m picking my nose? / Will it knock on my door in the morning, / Or tread in the bus on my toes?” Duffy’s fellow poets, with whom she discusses the whole heady business, will doubtless be less prosaic.

The late John Updike’s relationship with his mother seems to have been more of a love-hate affair.

When asked whether she was proud of the acclaim accorded to her son, she apparently replied: “I’d rather it had been me.” Tomorrow’s DRAMA ON 3: MRS UPDIKE explores the tensions between the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and his mother, who was an aspiring writer, with Margaret Hefferman’s new play bringing the pair together as Updike tries to deal with his failed marriage. Eileen Atkins and Charles Edwards star.

Intense stuff, but perhaps not quite such a matter of life and death as fitba’. The Proclaimers’ song Sunshine on Leith has become an anthem for Hibs supporters – and more than that, Jonathan Maitland argues in LYRICAL JOURNEY, when he visits Leith to see how the song reflects a changing city. He meets serenading Hibees diehards, as well as maritime historian Eric Graham and stand-up comedian and local history buff Susan Morrison.

And if all that sunshine sends you scurrying for the shadows, you’ll enjoy Radio 4 Extra’s HAUNTED season of classic ghost stories, which over the next three weeks reprises a notable BBC World Service series broadcast during the 1970s and 80s.

Monday’s introductory frisson comes from Rosemary Timperley’s Little Girl Lost, with spooky gems from the likes of Wilkie Collins and Bram Stoker to follow. Don’t listen alone.

TELL ME THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE - Mon-Fri, Radio 4, 1:45pm

DRAMA ON 3: Mrs Updike - Tomorrow, Radio 3, 8:30pm

LYRICAL JOURNEY - Tomorrow, Radio 4, 1:30pm

HAUNTED SEASON - Mon-Fri, Radio 4 Extra, 6pm

JIM GILCHRIST

 

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